Police Now officers are playing a vital role in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Hertfordshire.
Communities where Police Now officers have been posted for the last 22-months across the force area have seen 3,024 fewer incidents of anti-social behaviour compared to the same time period from October 2016 – equivalent to a 16 per cent drop.
Officers on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme have been working alongside their colleagues within their local neighbourhood teams.
As well as the drop in anti-social behaviour, communities have also seen 747 fewer incidents of burglary – a fall of 20 per cent. There were 842 fewer incidents of criminal damage and arson – a fall of 14 per cent – and 230 fewer incidents of shoplifting, equivalent to a 5 per cent fall.
PC Rory Farmer and PC Hollie Edwards of Hertfordshire Constabulary both worked on an innovative scheme to reduce thefts from cars. PC Farmer noticed that theft from vehicles had risen rapidly over the beginning of 2021 and that the problem was often as a result of car doors being left unlocked by their owners. With the support of his sergeant and colleagues, he ran an operation over two nights in which they tried over 1,500 car door handles. This identified 36 vehicles with unlocked doors, one of which had thousands of pounds-worth of tools inside. PC Farmer and his colleagues alerted the vehicle owners to raise awareness and prevent offences. They then published the results locally to raise awareness more widely and spoke with colleagues across Watford to let them know of the operation’s success.
PC Edwards recognised the effectiveness of the scheme and tried 2,220 car door handles over three evenings throughout her ward to see how many were unlocked. She found 103 had been left unlocked – one car in every 22. She then notified the car owners in person to encourage people to lock their vehicles and raise awareness of the issue.
She said: “Most were very pleased we’d let them know- and some a little embarrassed! Following our work, I noticed a significant reduction of thefts from inside vehicles on my beat.”
PC Farmer – who was nominated by one of his colleagues for the Hertfordshire Student Officer of the Year – added: “It’s important that all members of the public are able to see people like themselves in the Police so that they can feel that the Police are accessible. That accessibility helps the dialogue that will be able to have a look at why things such as anti-social behaviour might be existing in an area.”
Police Now’s mission is to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring diverse leaders in policing.
Officers on Police Now’s programmes develop skills in leadership and problem-solving. They share a commitment to public service, fighting crime and inspiring social change alongside their colleagues.
Police Now has recruited a total of 1,830 officers across 33 forces in the UK, including Hertfordshire Constabulary. Chief Constable Charlie Hall has invested in his communities by partnering with Police Now for the past four years, with 43 police constables joining the force via this route.
Police Now consistently recruits more officers who are women or from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds compared to any other entry route into policing. Police Now recruitment data shows that, on average, more than half (57 per cent) of those joining the National Graduate Leadership Programme in Hertfordshire (2017-2020) identify as women.